Keep your school supplies organized - Many times, parents buy extra school supplies while they are on sale to have on hand later, only to find that these same supplies are missing or damaged when it is time to use them. Designate a certain area of your home to keep any extra supplies so that you know exactly where they are when your children are ready for them.
Label all of your school supplies - There are plenty of incidents in the supplies are lost or taken by another student. This problem can be easily solved by grabbing a permanent marker and writing your child's name on all of their school supplies. Some classrooms have you bring in items that the whole class will be using, but if this is the case, the teachers will usually let you know that when they provide you with their list.
Avoid trendy or gimmicky items - When shopping for school supplies, it is usually best to stick with the basics. Although almost every child adores folders with fancy designs, brightly colored pens and backpacks with the latest cartoon characters, these items are just not practical as they usually cost much more than their plain and basic counterparts. Although it is okay to splurge on a few of these kinds of supplies, filling your cart with them will cost you quite a bit of money in the long run.
Organize a back to school swap - Many times, families have usable items for back to school that they just won't be using. Either the kids have outgrown their clothes (that still look like new), they want a new backpack (even though there is nothing wrong with their old one), or they have extra school supplies from the previous year that they won't be needing for this year's curriculum. The best way to benefit from this situation is to organize a back to school swap. Invite all of the parents you know to bring what they have, and everyone can get a few items they need while getting rid of the clothes and extra school supplies that they don't. Not only is this free, but lots of fun as well.
Start a school supplies co-operative - Lots of times, if you are able to purchase your school supplies in bulk, you can get them for a much lower price, sometimes even at wholesale value. While this is a great way to save money, you often don't need that many pencils or notebooks. A great way to get these savings, but not have to buy such a large quantity, is to start a school supplies co-operative with your friends, family or neighbors. All you have to do is find out what everyone needs, order the supplies in bulk, and then divide up the school supplies and the low cost once your items arrive. This takes the hassle out of shopping in busy stores at this time of year and saves quite a bit of cash.
Now that you know a few extra tips, you're all ready to get the kids stocked up on school supplies and ready to go back to school. With just a little bit of planning and creativity, you really can take the stress out of back to school shopping.